Additionally, former Jazz draft pick and Nevada graduate Kirk Snyder has finally been convicted and sentenced for his savage beating of a neighbour over a year ago. Snyder's temporary insantiy defense did not work, and he was sentenced to three years in prison for a charge of aggravated burglary, two years for felonious assault and six months for common assault, to be served concurrently and credited with 312 days of time already served. Given that before his sentencing, Snyder had been placed on suicide watch, beaten another inmate, refused food and medication and had to be force-fed, an early release for good behaviour looks a long way off.
An Ohio judge has sentenced a former NBA player to three years in prison for breaking into his neighbors' home and attacking them.
Judge Neal Bronson of Warren County Common Pleas Court sentenced 26-year-old Kirk Snyder on Wednesday and ordered him to pay $5,550 in restitution.
Snyder made no comment. His attorney argued for probation.
Another ex-CBA player with a focus on this website is Lee Benson. Benson was a tearaway as a young man, recording numerous arrests and convictions that inevitably culminated in convictions for abduction with a firearm, possession of crack cocaine and aggravated drug trafficking. Benson received between 7 and 22 years in prison, eventually serving 8 and a half, and was 27 years old when he got out of prison, with no college or professional basketball experience.
He was good, though. And if you're good, that usually wins out. Benson went to spend a year at junior college, where he led the whole JC circuit with a 35.4 points per game average (also averaging 11 rebounds, good for second). He was an athletic and strong 28 year old 6'11 grown man, so he should have been dominating the junior college circuit, but nevertheless it's hard to dominate any level of basketball by that much.
The NBA took note of those numbers, and Benson's first taste of professional basketball was a workout with the Toronto Raptors. (He was, after all, still draft eligible.) Benson left the Raptors early to go and play in China, and he's split several years between the CBA and Puerto Rico, putting up big numbers and earning some decent paychecks. In the 2008/09 season, he averaged 34/19/6. And that was as a 35 year old.
I say all this about Benson because it might pertain to Snyder. Assuming Kirk serves the full three years of his term - history suggests he's not a candidate for a good behaviour early release - he'll be 30 when he comes out. 30 is old, but it's not too old to continue a professional basketball career. It appears impossible that Snyder will ever return to the NBA - he was only a decent NBA player, and he'd have to be a lot better than decent to overlook this history - but that doesn't mean the end of his career. Snyder has the calibre to star in lower leagues, as evidenced by the 34ppg/10rpg he averaged in China in 2008/09. He will have witnessed first hand what Benson was doing in the same place, after Benson had come from the same place.
Snyder's criminal and mental health histories have been covered quite a lot on this website before. For those not previously aware of them, here's a York Notes version of Snyder's last 18 months.
Snyder signed in China for the 2008-09 season, and averaged a ridiculous 33.6 points, 9.9 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game. When the season was over he returned to his Ohio home.....and then it got weird.
On March 30th last year, Snyder was arrested and charged with aggravated burglary and felonious assault. Snyder broke into a house on the same street as his, and beat the living daylights out of the male occupant as he slept, in front of his wife. And then he went back to his house as if nothing had happened. The wife who witnessed the beating called the police, who brought a canine unit along and tracked a scent back to Snyder's house. Snyder was arrested, charged, and taken to jail, where he promptly got into a fight with another inmate. Due to the savage and seemingly unprovoked nature of the initial beating, Snyder was sent for psychiatric evaluation, and later placed on suicide watch.
While in the psychiatric hospital, Snyder refused all medication and all food. A court order came down allowing him to be force fed, and several months later, Snyder was found competent to stand trial (being diagnosed with bipolar disorder). Snyder was released under the proviso that he wore an electronic ankle bracelet, and even tried to play basketball again in China. But the CBA predictably vetoed any move, and Snyder was later re-arrested and returned to jail after he cut off the ankle bracelet.
Last month, the case finally went to trial, with Snyder found mentally competent. His defense of "temporary insanity" did not work, and it didn't take long before he was found guilty on all charges. Snyder currently awaits his sentencing hearing which takes place next month, and his charges include a felony count that carries a mandatory prison sentence, with a maximum term of 18 years.
Yesterday, I tweeted that Kirk Snyder - who had been rumoured as a possible returnee to the Chinese Basketball Association this season - had been denied entry to the league, as officials saw him as undesirable what with his whole burglary/vicious assault/incarceration/suicide watch/forcefeeding medication story thing. It surprised me that there was even a possibility of Snyder's return. The last I heard, he had been released from the mental ward and found competent to stand trial, but no news that he had been released from jail.
However, today, we found out that he HAD been released from jail, but only while wearing an electronic tagging device. And we know this because he was just sent back to jail for cutting it off.
The question of you would do that is an obvious and entirely valid one, yet considering that we're talking about a man who had to be force fed, savagely beat a man to a pulp in full view of his wife, and who was recently deemed by the courts to be mentally incompetent, then nothing can be a surprise any more. The hope that Kirk Snyder had merely had a mini-drug-induced-freakout - which would be incredibly little solace, but which was a better thing to hope for that this - is now completely dead. Kirk Snyder would appear to be oh so very irrational right now, and it's not fun to think about.
So, because it's more fun to do, let's instead remember Kirk Snyder the basketball player. Here he is with a much underrated dunk over Von Wafer (here pictured as a Laker; no one seems to remember that he used to be a Laker, but it happened.)
They were good times. Simpler times. Happy times. But they ain't coming back.
[...] However, winning in the 30s and drafting a legitimate core is better than winning in the teens and drafting one, if you can do it. And Indiana did. It took both fortune and skill to do it; nevertheless, it was quality mid-first and second round picks that got it done. First it was Danny Granger (No. 17, 2005), then Roy Hibbert (No. 17, 2008, whom they only landed because of Toronto's poorly thought out desire for Jermaine O'Neal), complimented by Lance Stephenson (No. 40, 2010). In tandem with this, the it's-all-we-could-get deals of Mike Dunleavy and Troy Murphy finally disappeared (Murphy nabbing Darren Collison in the process), as did the oversized deals of Tinsley, Foster and T.J. Ford. With this newfound cap flexibility, Indiana found a perfectly complimentary piece (David West) for a perfectly complimentary price (two years and $20 million).
But whilst we can commend Indiana's courage in the George extension and their recent asset management, we must be wary before we anoint their strategy as the blueprint for small market teams to follow. This is particularly important in light of the fact that, when accounting for Roy Hibbert, they now yield two max contracts, one to an all-NBA third team wing and one to a center who had the 23rd-worst true shooting percentage in the league last year. Additionally, West's new deal is not the good value his previous one was; being paid $12.5 million per annum for each of the next three seasons, West's final year in particular will be burdensome as he turns 36 years old, highly unlikely to still be the player he is now.
History has done what it loves to do best and repeated itself.
Utah headed into this summer with almost two maximum salaries worth of cap flexibility, and yet they made no effort to sign players with it. Almost as quickly as free agency began, Utah committed to burning their cap space on the Warriors’s castoffs, Andris Biedrins and Richard Jefferson, a combined $20 million cap hit with some first rounders to offset the cost. Burning $20 million of cap space on Biedrins, Jefferson and Brandon Rush is about as identical to burning $20 million of cap space on Gugliotta, Rice and Clark as you can get.
The difference is, or should be, the end result. The 2003 edition of this strategy culminated in the 2004 draft selections of Kris Humphries, Kirk Snyder and Pavel Podkolzin. Snyder went to a psychiatric hospital, Humphries lasted two seasons before being traded for Rafael Araujo, while Pavel lasted about seven minutes before being traded for a pick that later became Linas Kleiza. Stocking up all the assets meant nothing when said assets were wasted – with Kirilenko (and, to an extent, Boozer and Okur) taking up all the cap flexibility without living up to the money, and the supposed young core not working out, the 2004-05 season that followed was much worse than the one which was designed to be bad. A wasted season had to follow before Deron Williams arrived and the rebuild finally began.
This time, it’s different. It is the same situation, but it’s not. This time, Utah have gotten the young quality BEFORE hoarding the cap space.
Note: Non-US teams that the player
has played for are, unless stated otherwise, from the top division in
that nation. If a league or division name is expressly stated, it's not
the top division. The only exceptions to this are the rare occasions where
no one league is said to be above the other, such as with the JBL/BJ League
split in Japan.